Having seen the ratings bonanza of the reality dating shows "The Bachelor," "Joe Millionaire" and "The Bachelorette," the NBC-owned cable channel Bravo is getting in on the action. And to lure a perhaps jaded audience, it has come up with a new twist.
In July, Bravo begins airing "Boy Meets Boy," a six-episode series starring a bachelor who chooses, from 15 male contestants, a lover with whom he wishes to share a vacation, paid for by Bravo.
To spice up the series, several contestants are straight males, who hide their orientation. The prizes?
According to Lisa de Moraes of the New York Post, "If the leading man picks a gay man to be his mate, he wins a cash prize and a vacation with his guy of choice. Should he pick a straight guy, the straight guy wins a cash prize because, executive producer Doug Ross (says), 'to get them to do this you have to dangle more than a sociological experiment and exploring ... gay issues.'" I'll bet.
The contestants were forbidden to do more than kiss, though Ross concedes he cannot be sure what went on once the lead man took a contestant home for the night. The show, he says, was all played "in the spirit of fun and progressive gay values."
Yet, ratings and raking in bucks for Bravo are just one motive behind this show. A second is social subversion, the breaking down of taboos. As Scott Seomin of The Gay & Lesbian Alliance told the Post, "This is going to blur the boundaries of what is thought to be straight and what is thought to be gay in this country."
Bravo officials admit "Boy Meets Boy" was designed and created to "challenge preconceived notions of what is considered gay and straight behavior." In short, this show is meant to break down the moral norms of society that, for 2000 years, have held that for men to engage in sex with other men is unnatural, immoral and destructive of body, soul and society alike.
How far we have come in so short a time. If memory serves, it was only a decade ago that Ellen DeGeneres kissed Anne Heche on TV. While that caused a sensation, "Boy Meets Boys" has attracted little controversy. Alexander Pope remains prophetic:
"Vice is a monster of so frightful mien
As to be hated needs but to be seen.
Yet seen too oft, familiar with her face
We first endure, then pity, then embrace."
In its relentless drive to overthrow the moral code that has guided Western civilization since Constantine, the homosexual lobby has moved from triumph to triumph in a few years. And what would constitute total victory for "gay values" over traditional values?